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In Quest of the Flute - Player

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 4:16 AM
Mira Imagine to KrishnaMIRA started for Brindaban, singing and dancing in the way as she passed. As she crossed the burning sands of Rajaputana, her face did not betray any sign of physical pain or suffering. All the way nothing came to her lips but "Giradhara Gopala : He is my all, I have no one else to call my own."

Whoever saw her was peculiarly moved, and everybody was drawn towards her. The heart of the poor was filled with sympathy for her, and they requested her to share with them their unostentatious meals. The children took her to be their mother who had for long been away from them. She, on her part, clasped them; for she saw in them so many Krsnas. Her touch was magical, and her look captivating. Everybody wanted her blessings, and returned overjoyed after seeing her with the Lord's name on her lips. It was apparent that the Lord, taking compassion on them, had sent them His own child as the messenger to deliver them His message the secret of divine bliss. They would not let her part. But to her the Lord's mandates were supreme and she would waste no time in answering the Divine Call. She therefore went on and on for days and nights, cheerful and unfatigued, till she reached the suburbs of Brindaban. There, as if by intuition, the cowherds' children recognized her, ran to her and, forgetting all decorum and decency, kissed her, raised her up and cried out, "Come, friends, she has come." 

They had recognized the Gopi that had been absent from Vraja for so long. She reciprocated those sentiments of love thus showered upon her; for, were they not the genuine outpourings of affection and the fragrant draughts of pastoral love? They forced her to dance, and, when they felt she must have been tired little did they know that those feet knew no tiring they gave her fresh milk to drink and the piece of the loaf that was lying in the cupboard. They brought her water and cleansed her feet, and in the midst of such exuberance of affection she lifted her head to see who it was that was playing those touching tunes that enraptured the heart and sent a quiver through it: and whom else would her eyes meet but the Lord Himself, seated on yonder tree, witnessing His own Lila. As she ran to catch Him, He disappeared. Mira lay weeping, and the children started consoling her. After some time she recovered and started on her journey in spite of the children's vain entreaties to stay for some days more.

MirabaiHer eyes could not be arrested by any other thing in the world except the purpose in hand, and that purpose was none else but the love for the Lord, and that mission no other than the journey to His abode. Thus, nothing, not even the children's entreaties, howsoever feeling, could divert her from her purpose, which was to meet the Lord at Brindaban. At last the journey was over and she reached the place and there fell in a reverie. In her dreams she looked about herself and seemed to recognize the old place. She remembered the good old days when she had with other Gopis played with the boy Krsna, danced with Him and had been the butt of all His jokes. She remembered that she was Radha in her previous birth and had adorned the place and taught the womankind the ideal of selfless love for their consorts. She awoke from her reverie and found herself entirely amongst new surroundings. She tried to find the old places. They were all gone, and huge buildings stood in place of lovely bowers where His dramas were enacted by Lord Krsna. She went about and rested in the temple dedicated to the Lord. As she passed through the streets, people laughed at her. Careless of the caustic remarks, she went on intuitively.

As evening approached, she went out to beg for food. Having got some, she took it to the banks of the Jamuna, offered it to Lord Krsna and partook of it. During night she sat in prayers, her little Krsna before her, and passed hours in devotion as usual, careless of the new surroundings. To her there was nothing new. It was a return home, and not a streak of care was visible in her face. There she sat all aglow with divine fervor. She had not long to stay. Like the moths that surround the lamp, devotees began to gather about her. The news spread all round that Mira had come. All seemed to recognize her. Her name seemed to be familiar to everybody. News spread far and wide that the Lord Himself visited Mira while she sat in devotion and danced in ecstasy. People started on the holy pilgrimage to visit her. This news also travelled to Chitor, and devotees arrived from there and begged Mira to return to her native place. Since her departure from there they had suffered great troubles. The Rana himself realizing his folly repented, and dressed like a mendicant, came to Brindaban to seek her forgiveness. Clad in saffron, he approached Mira and asked her for alms.

MirabaiMira: What alms can you expect of a beggar!
Rana: You can give me whatever I want.
Mira: Then ask.

At this, the Rana removed his disguise, disclosed his identity and sought her forgiveness. Mira recognizing her husband fell down at his feet. She acceded to his entreaties, and consented to accompany him back home.

On arrival in Chitor her time was passed in prayers in the temple. This continued for some time. Bhojaraja died while Mira was only twenty-three, and only ten years had elapsed after her marriage. She now felt more at liberty to carry on her devotional practices. But soon things changed, and, at the instance of his counsellors, Ratan Singh, the new Rana of Mewar and Mira's brother-in-law, started persecuting her. Mira bore patiently all the humiliations to which she was subjected, in the name of the Lord, and uttered not a word of complaint. Who could know what she was, what she wanted and what she did! Her feelings are expressed in her own lines:—

O friend, I am mad with love: none
knows my anguish.
There, on the point of the pike lies my
bed, how can I sleep!
The bed of the Dear One is spread in
heaven, how can I meet Him !
Only he who has a wound can
understand the condition of
the wounded,
Or else he who has dealt the blow.
Only a jeweller can know the secrets of
a jeweller or else he who the jewel be.
Smitten with pain I roam about the
Physician I have found none.
The pain of Mira will leave her,
0 Lord, when You play the physician.

Mira and Krishna
The persecution of Mira continued day and night and she was ridiculed for mixing freely with the tonsured mendicants and for dancing before the Lord's image. She was asked to give up this dancing and singing as it cast a shadow on the fair name of her family. Her characteristic reply is contained in her following lines:-

Mine is Giradhara, none else.
He who wears the peacock crown is
Mira's Lord;
Father, mother, brother or kin, none
is mine,
I have flung the pride of my family:
what care I for any one !
Living in the company of saints, I
bade good-bye to the world and its
I tore aside my veil of many hues and
bedecked myself with coarse thread;
Pearl and corals I cast aside to weave
the garland of wild flowers.
With my tears for water, I nourished
the creeper of love;
Now that the creeper has spread, the
fruit shall be joy itself.
The milk-churn I twirled with deep
And butter I gleaned : let him who
would, have the leavings.
I was born for devotion's sake, but
the sight of the world made my heart
Mira is Thy maid, 0 Lord Giradhara;
save me now.*
How could such a child be loved in this world!
All sneered at her, but she did not care. Her heart aimed at pleasing one and one alone, and that was the Lord Himself.

Mirabai Find GodThe Rana was always busy inventing a new form of torture for her. Once he sent a snake in a basket to her with a message that it contained a garland of flowers. Mira, after performing her ablutions, sat before it. On opening it she discovered a beautiful image of her Divine Beloved.

The Rana then tried another trick. This time he sent her a cup of poison, saying it was nectar. Mira, after performing her prayers, raised it to her lips and quaffed the deadly liquid, which was really transformed into nectar. She has described these incidents of her life in the following beautiful song :-

Rana made a present of a basket
of serpent.
Mira performed her ablutions and put
her hands in it.
Lo! it was turned into an image of
the Lord.
Rana sent a poisoned cup: having
performed her
Prayers, Mira drank of it.
It had changed into nectar.
Rana sent a bed of nails for Mira to
sleep on.
Evening fell and Mira slept on it.
Lo! it had transformed into a bed
of roses.
Mira's Lord, ever beneficent, keeps her
ever out of all trouble.
Mira has dedicated herself to Giradhara
and roams about in ecstatic mood
arising out of deep love.

The mystery behind these miracles can only be explained by her love for the Lord.

Mirabai in Isolation
Steeped in the wine of love, the lover sees nothing else but the wine all round. The whole panorama is dyed red. The very wine seems to pervade and fill the atmosphere by its fragrance. The whole consciousness is gone. Nay, the devotee himself becomes symbolic of it. Everything that he takes smells of that wine. His love is responsible for that conversion.

When she was thus tortured and troubled at her place, and when it became impossible for her to carry on her devotional practices, she sought the aid of one who could understand her condition. She addressed the following lines to a renowned contemporary saint, Tulasidasa:—

All the dear ones of my household
ever create trouble
Over my association with the Sadhus,
and in my devotion cause
me intense pain.
From my childhood have I made the
child Giradhara my friend.
The bonds of attachment have grown
too strong for me now to break.

Tulasidasa gauged her mental agony and physical pain and came to her rescue. He replied thus:— 

Those who do not hold Rama and
Sita dear,
Shun them as your dire enemies,
howsoever closely related.
Prahlada defied his father, Vibhisana
deserted his brother and Bharata
forsook his mother.
Nay Bali disowned his preceptor
And the Gopis left their husbands in
order to meet the Lord, and the
behavior of them all was a source
of happiness and a blessing to the

Writer -Bankey Behari

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